Since finishing up my Master’s and moving back to Canada, one of my personal challenges has been to keep my mind active. That makes me sound like an 80-year old man, but the fact remains that the opportunities for learning at my house are far different from those available at a major, internationally-renowned university.
Luckily, however, we don’t live in the 1600s and the witchcraft that is the Internet hasn’t been burned at the stake (yet – I’m looking at you, Reddit). The near-instant accessibility of information via the web has changed the way in which people and institutions approach education dramatically over the last decade, with digital libraries and classrooms becoming a viable alternative (or complement) to the traditional brick-and-mortar counterparts. Everything from online courses – now offered at countless centres of higher learning – to the recent advocacy for open-access publishing is a result of the benefits offered by the rise of the Internet.
These benefits are a huge help to students around the world, but they are also useful for people like myself who may not be a part of the formal education system anymore but who continue to be interested in learning. Thirty years ago, if I had happened to be curious about the German chancellor Bismarck, for instance, I would have had to go to a library to borrow a book or telephone an expert or check the entrails of a goat (maybe? They did that back in the 1980s right?) – but today, there is a Wikipedia article, a discussion about Bismarck by a leading scholar, and a video of the man himself all within easy reach of anybody who is interested.I find this ease of access to information absolutely amazing and extremely useful. Accordingly, I have decided to devote one post per week to interesting things I learned or came across. Dubbed Smarter Sundays, the only detail I have really decided on is that I will publish it on Sundays – hopefully in the morning. Beyond that, I am going to try out a couple different formats over the next few weeks, so I would love to hear what you think of them!
For this week, I want to highlight a couple of YouTube channels I follow regularly because I think they are doing a great job of teaching people about neat subjects, but in a really engaging and exciting way.
So let me know what you think about these channels in the comments, on Twitter, or on Facebook! Did you like the videos? Have you seen any of these channels before? What do you think about their approach to education and the style of their videos? Are there any videos you would recommend?
And if you have any suggestions for things you’d like to see in future editions of Smarter Sundays, be sure to let me know as well!
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